Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick and Hearty Chili

I'm continuing on with the recipes from Vegan Diner. Tonight I made the Quick and Hearty Chili served over a bed of rice and side of cornbread. I was not disappointed! I was excited to use my Trader Joe's beef-less ground beef and it lent itself perfectly to this dish. I imagine this as a great "go to" dish in the cooler weather when you're having a craving for a hearty dish that won't take a lot of time. This recipe makes quite a bit of chili so next time I might make it on a Sunday, eat some, freeze some and divide the remainder of it for lunch portions throughout the week. This dish is packed with protein too!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bell pepper, any color, finely chopped
2 (15.5 ounces) cans kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 ounces) can tomato puree or diced tomatoes pureed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup TVP or TSP granules

In a large saucepan, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to soften and turn golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups water and reduce the heat to medium low *. Add the beans, tomato puree, soy sauce, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, oregano, salt and paprika, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the TVP and reduce heat to low.

Let the chili simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.

*Side notes: I opted to use Trader Joe's Beef-less ground beef in place of TVP or TSP. Using this, I didn't need to add 1 1/2 cups water.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Banana Biscuits

I've recently fallen in love with Julie Hasson's Vegan Diner. There's not a bad recipe in the whole bunch. As I work my way through it, I decided to start with Banana Biscuits. It was so refreshing to realize that I had all the ingredients at my fingertips. Recently I started buying Vanilla Almond Breeze as an alternative to milk for my morning bowl of cereal. I think the Almond Breeze really contributes to the slight sweetness of the biscuit. Banana Biscuits are more dense like a scone. I think extra things could be added if you're feeling creative: walnuts, mini chocolate chips, etc. The warm baked banana chunks, cinnamon and sugar really make this biscuit outstanding! As a side note, I made my batch with 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. They turned out delicious.

When you mix everything together, the dough should look like this:

Place 9 generous scoops on a parchment lined baking sheet, dust them with cinnamon and sugar, pop these little gems in the oven and let them bake:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1 banana, cut in to quarters lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In large bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add the milk, oil, vanilla and banana to the flour mix and stir until the mixture comes together and is thick and sticky. Scoop 9 rounded balls of dough on to the prepared baking sheet.

In a small cup, mix sugar and cinnamon. Dust the top of the biscuits.

Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned for 20 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.